Industry News

What's Your Show Plan? Successful Show Veterans Share Tips Learned from Years of Experience

January 18, 2016 | 0 Comments

The 2016 Snow Show is approaching fast. With just 3 days until we head to Denver, have you thought about how you’re going to organize your time at the Show? After many years of seeing retailers and brands have a successful Show using many different approaches, one thing we all know for sure is that a little planning and organization go a long way toward getting your goals met.


Thankfully, Rome Snowboards’ Dan “Sully” Sullivan, Rossignol’s Ryan Green and Joe Rauscher, owner of Joe’s Sporting Goods in St. Paul, MN, are all Show veterans who have stepped up to offer some sage advice:

Ryan Green on optimizing your time at the show: 

“There is a lot going on at the Show, it’s a big place and the day can disappear quickly. I take some time before the show to work on the things I want to see and who I want to meet with at the Show then start to make a plan. Even if it seems unnecessary, if I want to meet with a company or someone specific I’ll set up an appointment which helps me plan for the day and allows me to cover all of the things I was hoping to do at the Show.”Joe_Rauscher.jpg

Joe Rauscher on how his buying style has changed over the years:

“My first year to the SIA Show was 1979. I was 19 years old and in Las Vegas giving my opinion on what my family’s ski shop should carry for the upcoming season. Back then the SIA Ski Show was in March and we knew what sold and what would be carried over at the end of the year. This year will be my 38th consecutive year attending the SIA Show. Boy, have I changed my buying style. Back then we wore ties. Hexcel skis, Hanson boots and Roffe clothing were the hot brands and Snowboarding didn’t exist. Some of the brands back then are still here today but none have been on top the whole time.”

Sully_Heart_Beer.jpgDan Sullivan on the restaurant scene in Denver: 

“One of the best things about attending the SIA Show in Denver is enjoying the great restaurant scene that Denver has to offer.  There are lots of really good restaurants very close to the Convention Center, but I suggest taking a quick cab ride and hitting up some of the restaurant outside of the tourist zone. The Cherry Creek and Highlands regions of Denver are home to many great restaurants and it’s likely you’ll be eating with locals if you go to them.”

Joe Rauscher on how he streamlines his buying process:

“At our store we need to be very careful in what we buy, we can’t just buy a brand that we did last year and expect the same or better results. Every year I go to the show I look for the up and coming companies that are new and try to get the feel of the market. Here are some things I have noticed change over the years. Buyers are getting younger – one notices this after 38 years. If you want a quiet line presentation in the snowboard area do it at 8am or early morning. Make sure to have what I call a manufacturers report card. You will be in a better position if you can let them know how they performed with their peers. Let’s say a product came in later than agreed on, or the fit was not up to the standards they are known for. This is information that a rep and their sales manager should know before you sit down and look at the line. Don’t make it all negative – throw some positive points in too; that way you’ll be on their radar for future line testing opinion. The most important thing to always remember is we’re both in business to make money, so thank them for giving you the opportunity to be in an industry that is so much fun.” 

Ryan Green on Educational Opportunities:Ryan_Green.jpg

“SIA puts together a day of great seminars on Wednesday before the show starts. I’ll sneak out of set up throughout the day to sit in on a few seminars. These offer great insights from people with various backgrounds – both in and outside of the snow sports industry.”

Joe Rauscher on his On-Snow Demo strategy:

“In equipment we bring seven people to the demo, two gals and five guys. We make a note pad that has pre-printed skis that each tester needs to try at the demo. When our testers start the day each of them go to different brands and get the same style of skis. It might be the all-mountain front side ski with an 84mm waist in the morning, and the wider 90 to 100mm skis in the afternoon. That way we compare similar style skis with the same snow conditions between 12 brands. This helps tremendously for us to buy the best skis in a category we like, and when the Ski magazines Buyers Guides come out we already have these best in test skis in stock. There are a lot of skis that ski good, I want to find the skis that ski best. It sounds simple and it is, but you have to do it to be successful.”

Ryan Green on Networking:

“Networking is probably one of the move valuable things to take away from the show. Every segment of the snow sports industry is at the show – retailers from all over the country, brand staff from all departments, reps, ski areas, organizations supporting snow sports, media, and so on. This is the only time and place that a diverse group like this gets together for snow sports.”

It’s a real treat to hear from people who have been at the Show so many years in a row and who have such great advice. Thanks again to Rossignol’s Ryan Green, Rome’s Dan Sullivan and Joe Rauscher, owner of Joe’s Sporting Goods, for all your help!

There are many approaches to working the Show, but there’s no question that having a plan in mind helps you buyers.jpgreach your goals. We have many ways to help, including the Show App, which has a scheduler and interactive floor plan. In addition, Suppliers can access the Exhibitor Dashboard to check sales leads and manage their information appearing in the Exhibitor Brand Search. Retailers can access the Exhibitor Brand Search, Interactive Floor Plan, or the Show App to find an Exhibitor on the floor, read press releases, keep track of exhibitors you want to visit at the show and organize sessions and appointments with your own calendar.

Retailers can also plan ahead by visiting the Collectives Pages at to find an overview of trends to watch for in every category. More in-depth information can be found in the Sneak Peak/New Product Directory to help you get an overview of the product lines before you head to the Show.

Last but not least, schedule time for some education at the SIA Snow Show with the many seminars being offered. INUDUSTRY + INTELIGENCE offers you and your staff insight on the latest consumer behavior, retail data, digital marketing, social media and customer connection trends. Don’t miss out! Check out the full list of seminars and going on at the Show here.

Visit to find many more ways to help you plan your best Show ever!


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